Do you ever walk into a Starbucks coffee shop and just ogle the baked goods case, because girl you know I do, and 0/10 something entices me…mostly because there’s absolutely 0 things vegan and partly because ya girl is trying to lost some L Bs.
I was working out of our Chicago office one day and a scone was calling my name when I went to get my latte. And so, the vegan orange cranberry scones below were born and let me tell you, ya’ll will take one taste and thank me. Not to toot my own horn (toot toot) but I verbally said I’m proud of myself after I tasted this scone so if you need a nice little self-esteem boost, make these vegan scones stat. It also works as a quick and easy vegan breakfast recipe or vegan dessert recipe.
Vegan Orange Cranberry Scones – What You Need
1 medium sized orange (for zest and 2 tbsp of juice)
2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Unbleached All-purpose Flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 cup vegan sugar (I used Truvia and don’t care for the after taste, so I would recommend another vegan sugar of your choice)
3 twists of salt
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 cup canned coconut milk – be sure to not use the low-fat one
1 cup dried cranberries (or cherries would work well in this too)
1 9-inch circular baking tray
Combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar)
Add in the orange zest and add in 2 tbsp of orange juice
Melt the coconut oil and stir it into your dough
Stir in coconut milk
Fold in the dried cranberries and mix until combined.
Move the dough into your baking tray, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes
Preheat the oven to 400F
Pull the tray out of the fridge and draw a knife through the dough to make even triangles
Bake for 30 minutes, then cool for 10 minutes
The scones came out nice and soft and somewhat crumbly, and one will certainly fill you up!
I know that sounds like such a clickbait title, but it’s totally not. I started doing all of the below and my hair is noticeably thicker and longer. It’s true! If you somehow lived the bizarro version of my life, then you grew up with a mom who did everything she could to ensure I had long, black hair like every other good Indian girl. Her passion was so intense that I wasn’t allowed to get haircuts. Even when I explained how split ends work, and how it’s counter-intuitive but necessary to get hair cuts to grow my hair, it went in one ear and out the other.
SO, naturally, this obsession with growing healthy, long, thick hair to rival a horse’s tail passed down to me. After losing about 20-30 pounds (it waivers), I definitely also lost some hair. Making the transition to being vegan caused some hair loss too (but only initially). Once your body finds its groove, your hair will start growing healthier and shinier and thicker. Move over Herbal Essences models! Anyways, go and get or do the below 6 things and you’ll thank me later.
1. High Potency Biotin
I’m leading with the punchline here. High potency biotin is the secret to thicker, longer hair. I keep my bottles of vitamins at work so I can easily take them after lunch. The one I use from Whole Foods (and is often on sale) works like a charm. I ran my hands through my hair and could tell that it felt thicker and got noticeably longer than ever before.
2. Heat Protectant Spray
I have a bad habit of running my hands through my hair, only to accidentally pull out one to three strands at a time. Do this 30 times a day and that could easily equate to handfuls of hair. I started using heat protectant spray every time I wash my hair. I spray it on my slightly damp hair before I use the below and it helps prevent split ends as quickly.
Instead of using all kinds of heat tools on your hair, find the one multi-tasking tool that works for you. When Ulta had this for 50% off, I jumped on the opportunity and can I tell you I have voluminous, shiny, silky hair because of it? I do. In fact, I’ve never received as many compliments on my hair as when I used this. Scout’s honor. I highly recommend it! It takes place of a hair dryer and a hair straightener. Just be sure to use an effective heat protectant spray. You can get the Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer & Volumizer Hot Air Brush here.
4. Hair bobbles, baseball caps, and dry shampoo
Embrace the dirty hair lifestyle. Your hair will get oily, and that’s OK. When it does, throw on your favorite baseball cap and live up that athleisure look. If you’re going to work, find some hairstyles that are work appropriate and easily conceal two or even three-day hair. My favorite are buns and half-up half-down hairstyles. A cute headband helps too! Be sure to use some good dry shampoo to help with the oil as well.
I mean are you surprised about this one? Health starts from the inside out, and giving your body all the natural minerals and vitamins will help not only heal your body, but give it the boost it needs to develop as it naturally does! I could go on and on about this, but I don’t want to start a fight. Point blank–don’t eat meat or dairy. Eat plants. Love life.
6. A shower scalp massager
This is 100% an Instagram influenced purchase that’s actually legit. I throw a good dollop of shampoo in my hair and get it wet before I take to my scalp with this massager. Not only does it feel good, but lathers up the shampoo ensuring that my entire scalp gets squeaky clean. It may be in my head but the excess build-up, dead skin and sweat can’t be good for a healthy head of hair. You can get the Hair Scalp Massager Shampoo Brush here.
7. 10-week Trims
Not going to lie. This one sucks. A lot. Not only because your hair gets shorter after the fact (I mean duh), but it also means you need to spend money on this. And when I saved up aggressively for the last down payment on our house (and designer shoes), my hair suffers. HOWEVER, it’s really important. Going every 10 weeks to shave off an inch, can help inches down the road. I suggest 10 weeks (because that’s what my hair stylist told me) because it depends on how quickly your hair grows. My hair grows super fast, so I should go monthly, but let’s be honest. I ain’t got time for that. I try to go quarterly if i can.
Happy March VCF family! Not unlike January, February was equally short as it was long. Losing two to three days at the end of the month is bittersweet; happy because March is full of exciting things for our family and sad because, well, it’s two days less of time! Any who, you’ll see some February Favorites that are classic OGs and others that are new. What have you been loving this month?
Swiss On Shoes
I’m trying to pick up running again. My schedule barely leaves me time to breathe so I’m trying to fit it in where possible. I know once we move into the new house, my fitness will get back on track, but for now, my treadmill in my living room (ew) will have to do, and these shoes I bought when we were in Manhattan Beach, CA a couple years ago have regained my love.
I’m constantly thinking about work and things I have to do. Instead of carrying around numerous notebooks and post-its and notes, I now do everything on my iPad. Don’t get me wrong–I miss my old fashioned writing and still write in my gratitude journal every morning, but this iPad guys…game. changer.
Hasn’t failed me so far. I use this Ember mug once if not twice a day, morning and night.
Faux Fur Infinity Scarf
Polar vortex. Snow. Ice. Slush. I hate it all, but this faux fur infinity scarf is coming through to keep my neck nice and warm. Best of all, it’s a Target find, for less than $15 (at least when I bought it a couple years ago).
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or health professional. Please seek advise from your general practitioner before starting a new routine or healthy lifestyle.
Happy New Year’s Eve Eve! You may be one of the 45% of Americans going into 2019 who resolve to lose weight, and I don’t blame you. While it’s not at the top of my list every year, I can certainly say that it’s been kind of a priority since I was in middle school, and more so when I wanted to join the Varsity Tennis Team in High School. However, I lost weight in both healthy and unhealthy ways. But unlike the majority of New Year’s resolvers who start every year with gumption that fizzles into Netflix and Chillin’ come February 1, I’ve cracked the code to healthy weight loss.
With that said, look out for a weekly Weight Loss Wednesday series where you can follow along my weight loss journey as a vegan, where I also give you some tips on how to adopt a healthy lifestyle that believe it or not, is not completely about omitting the things you love.
This week, I’m going to share one tip that may help loads of you.
HEALTHY WEIGHT LOSS TIP: Eat Fat, Get Fat
This is by far the simplest thing you can do. Intaking pure fat is the quickest way to gain actual fat (or add to your adipose tissue). I say pure fat because there’s a difference between pure fat and healthy fats as you probably already know:
Pure Fats – Oil, in any form:
Olive oil – reducing the intake of oil is the easiest thing you can do for your weight loss journey
Butter (dairy or vegan)
Cheese – reducing the intake of cheese and dairy is probably one of the healthiest things you can do for your body
Nuts (be aware of serving sizes. A handful can easily be between 300-800 calories).
Soy beans (keep daily intake low)
If I can’t have oil, what do I cook with?
When you sauté, cook with water or vegetable stock. Another alternative is cooking spray.
The rule of thumb is to intake up to 8-10 grams of fat per day at most…
…but more than anything and as with any healthy lifestyle–moderation is key. AND don’t let the scale dictate your day!
Your changes should not be a diet. They should be a part of a healthy routine that fit your lifestyle. Not the lives of someone you see on Instagram or even your co-worker or friend who’s schedule and day-to-day is completely different from yours.
I was going back and forth about starting this kind of series. Is this something y’all are interested in?
I am a 1.5 generation child. A what? I was born in India and moved to California with my family when I was 6 years old, old enough to know how to use the toilet (but still run into walls) and young enough to be extremely impressionable. Growing up as a 1.5 generation child meant finding the right balance between being American without losing my culture. God bless my parents they wanted me to learn English quick [all I knew was yes, no, hi, and thank you–man was I polite ;)] so they forbade me from speaking Telugu at home. Before they knew it, Valley Girl Samantha was born, with am “um, like” this and a “no. way.” that.
As I grew up, I fought hard to retain my culture, but with little success, EXCEPT, and it’s a big EXCEPT (all caps worthy), when it came to the food. I lived Indian food. We ate it day in a day out with lots, and LOTS of rice. After I moved to college and then to Southern California for grad school, then all over the nation after that (long story), I ate less and less Indian food with every move and every passing year. I did however try every Indian restaurant which compelled me more to try cooking Indian food at home, minus the ghee, dairy and all other non-vegan stuff. Welcome to my journey I hope you enjoy these vegan chana masala–instant pot version.
INGREDIENTS for Oil-Free Vegan Chana Masala
2 tbsp. vegetable broth
1 white or yellow onion (diced)
1-2 tbsp. garlic ginger paste (to your taste preference)
2 tbsp. curry powder
a handful of spinach
1 can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 can of lite coconut milk
1 can of garbanzo beans
DIRECTIONS to make Delicious Vegan Chickpea Curry
Set your instant pot to saute mode, and add the vegetable broth.
Once the broth starts to sizzle a little, add your diced onions and sautee until they turn semi-clear.
Add the garlic ginger paste and let it cook for up to 2 minutes, or until aromatic.
Add the curry powder and toast it for about a minute.
Add your can of drained garbanzo beans, diced tomatoes, and cocnut milk.
If you prefer it spicy (add in a bit of red chilli pepper flakes–you can just as well add it directly to your dish at the end).
Close the instant pot lid and cook it on high pressure for 6 minutes.
Once time is up, release the pressure, open the lid and stir in the spinach.
If it’s more watery, you can easily enjoy it as a soup, but I personally think it’s best served with some rice or cauliflower rice.